What Frequencies Can Dogs Hear?

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Introduction

Do you ever hear your dog barking in the middle of the night, only to find that there doesn't seem to be anything he is barking at? Maybe your dog hears something you can't! 

Even though they sometimes run into walls, dogs can actually be amazingly smart animals. They have wonderful abilities that help them love their humans more than we could ever imagine. Dogs love to make us happy, and they will do whatever they can to protect us. Do they use their hearing to do this? What can a dog hear? And what frequencies can dogs hear? 

Signs That Your Dog is Hearing Something You Don't Hear

Your dog might be barking in the middle of the night because he is hearing something far in the distance or far above the frequencies we are able to hear. When your dog is showing signs that he is hearing something, you might want to pay attention. 

You will notice that your dog is hearing something unique based on the way he carries himself and reacts towards you. You may see that he is panting heavily, or trying to escape. If your dog is trying to escape from your yard, he may hear other dogs barking in the distance, or he may be hearing something so high pitched that you'd never be able to hear it. 

Dogs react differently to different sounds depending on their breed and personality. Observe the way your dog reacts so that you can better communicate with them. One tell-tale sign that your dog is hearing something is visible in his ears. 

When your dog hears something that you do not hear, you'll see his ears perk up. He will begin using the 18 muscles in his ears to pinpoint the sound and react accordingly. You'll notice his ears moving as his head turns and he looks around. You may even notice that he will start sniffing in order to detect what the object making the sound is. 

Body Language

Here are some signs you might notice when your dog is hearing something unique:
  • Barking
  • Listening
  • Panting
  • Raise ears
  • Ears up

Other Signs

Other signs you may notice if your dog is telling you that he hears something:
  • Trying to Escape
  • Nudging
  • Going Towards the Sound
  • Hiding

History of Dogs Hearing

The first animals to ever be domesticated were wolves. These wolves evolved into the countless breeds of dogs we know and love today. But, how did this evolution begin? How did dog become man's best friend? 

Well, it all started thousands of years ago when wolves and humans were trying to thrive in the world. The two species came together after they realized they could help each other. Humans discarded of their leftovers in the woods. The wolves would quickly follow to eat up the leftovers. In order to get closer to the humans for more food, wolves adjusted their personality to better appeal to humans. 

Wolves helped humans hunt and protect the tribe. Humans gave the nice and helpful wolves more shelter and food. This created a separation between dogs and wolves. The wolves who got closer to the humans continued to breed and give birth to animals that looked more and more like the dogs we know and love today. The wolves who did not get along with humans remained in the while, where they still are today. 

Wolves became dogs and over the course of history, the world gained even more goodness with each puppy born. Now, wolves and dogs are unrecognizably different. However, there are some traits that dogs have retained from their wolf ancestors. 

Dogs have an ability to hear high-pitched and far away sounds that humans cannot hear. They inherited this from wolves and it still helps them navigate the world today. Some dogs are trained to use their hearing to help their humans hunt. Other dogs are able to protect humans from scary sounds. 

The Science of Dogs Hearing

Dogs have amazing ears. That may not be something you think about too often. But dogs are able to use their ears to help themselves and their humans in great ways. 

Dogs use the 18 muscles in their ears to hear from all angles. They use the position of their heads and the arrangement of their ears to hear exact sounds. They can differentiate easily between sounds based on pitch. 

When we speak to our dogs in a positive tone, they respond positively. A large part of this is because of the way dogs process nice tones compared to how they hear negative tones such as yelling. 

Dogs can hear sounds as high as 45,000 hertz. This is a lot compared to humans, who can only hear as high as 28,000 hertz. This makes a huge difference in the way each species processes the world. 

Training a Dog to Hear Higher Frequencies

It is possible to train your dog to respond to different sound stimuli. In fact, it's a great idea to train your dog to do anything. There are many benefits to dog training. 

When you train your dog, you are actually strengthening your bond. When you treat training like an activity instead of a chore, you and your dog are sure to have a doggone good time. Training can help you and your dog get to know each other in new ways by exposing each of you to a new and fun experience. 

Dogs love to learn new things. When dogs are trained, they are being challenged intellectually. This makes your dog less bored, which is great, because boredom is a main cause of destructive behavior in canines.

You can take advantage of your dogs amazing hearing abilities. Start by getting a whistle that only dogs can hear. These whistles produce a pitch too high for the human ear. By training your dog to perform a command every time he hears the whistle, you can better communicate to him what you need. 

For example, you can train your dog to go to come inside every time you blow the whistle. Start doing this by blowing the whistle and encouraging your dog to come to you. Give a treat when your dog follows the command associated with the whistle. Over time, give fewer treats. If you give your dog a treat every time he does this task, he will start associating the whistle with treats. This means that if your dog is not in the mood for treats, he may not obey. You can avoid this by slowly replacing treats with positive praise. 

How to React When Your Dog Follows a Sound Command

  • Do an enjoyable activity such as a game of fetch.
  • Give yummy treats.
  • Give positive praise with a smile.